Chinook Helicopters Arrive in India
Giving a major boost to the Indian Air Force, the first batch of four Chinook helicopters have arrived in India from the US on 10th February, 2019. These four have been brought in the Mundra Port of Gujarat. They will be first assembled in Gujarat and then ferried to Chandigarh, where it will be inducted to the IAF in late 2019.
About the Chinook Helicopters
The Chinook helicopter is developed by an American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. Its full name is Boeing CH-47 Chinook. It is a twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. It is a multi-mission helicopter used for both combat and humanitarian purposes.
India had cleared purchase of 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook helicopters for the IAF in 2015 from the US. The deal was worth $2.5 billion. The helicopters were scheduled to be arriving in March, but they came “ahead-of-schedule”. The first Chinook Helicopter was handed over to IAF in January 2019 by the IAF.
Boost to IAF
For the IAF, the Chinook helicopters can provide the capability of
- Carrying 9.6 tonnes of load including artillery guns, light armoured vehicles and heavy machinery to high altitude areas.
- High maneuverability and ability to easily move in and out in mountaineous regions
- Quickly ferrying the M777 Ultra Light Howitzers to mountainous regions. This will be really helpful as India is procuring 145 M777 Ultra Light Howitzers for the Indian Army along the borders along Pakistan and China.
- Lifting heavy equipments for strategic road construction in the North East.
It’s a great addition to the Indian Air Force. We are seeing an increase in procurement from Boeing in the Indian defence field with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy both currently entering into partnerships with the US company. The defence ministry has also signed for the training and support of the helicopters. The crews of IAF had already begun their training on Chinooks at Delaware, USA.